Last week, in konusma kulubu (speaking class), I got nice friend from Turkey named Merve. Konusma Kulubu is a club consist of yabancilar (international student who are studying Turkish Language and have ability to speak in another foreign language) and Turkish people (whom studying English at TOMER). We were matched randomly by TOMER officer and at the opening of club, I found Merve as my konusma friend. She is a good Turkish girl, 21 years old and now studying at Uludag University at the second year. Her major is Philosophy—kinda tremendously hard major.  At aour first meeting, we only walked around Kent Meydani and tried to speak in mixed Turkish and English. Actually, Merve was a clever English student. She is sitting at A4 level at English but her speaking is really good. I was lil bit ashamed with my poor English. I totally enjoy my time with her because fortunately she is a nice girl—have no boyfriend (that means more time for us to focus in speaking program), have no smoking habit (huh, finally I find people like her), and definitely polite. And, shockedly she practice healthy food consumption—she is on a progress to become vegan (people who strictedly limit their meat consumption for health).

My second meeting is today. We meet in different mall near city center of Bursa named Heykel. Heykel is unique mall in the middle of Ozmangazi city. The building looks like twins piramyd which is seperated into 500 metres . From outside we only see the top of pyramid but actually if we godown the downstrairs that mall is awesome—consist of 5 floors with may lux shops and cafetaria, please dont ask me the price, it’s truly expensive. If we cross on the 5th floor with eskalator we amazingly arrived in another pyramid located 500 metres ahead. So it’s seemly like the museum at Paris~  Haha, it’s my naughty imagination.

Well, turned back into our travelling here. We spend our time by looking around mall, from one shop to another one, searching for low price winter jacket or else but nothing. However, we fortunately have seen the native dance performance from Turkey, such a street musician, whom beautifully spinning around the floor with their long white and wide dress. I successfully recorded the performance, thanks God!

After that, we went to bookstore to find English book, but you had not to expect more because “Burasi Turkiye”, here is Turkey, the place when you rarely found people with good English skill eventhough he or she is a manager in the company. Everything is never worthlessness because in the bookstore I found another interesting books. Many times I took the picture of the books that I want to publish particularly for my dearest sister in Medan, Ms. Dhini—here these your books (One Piece series and Catching Fire Series  in Turkish version).

Merve kindly hold the One Piece anime and she smiled for you, Ms. Dhini. She told me to “salam soyle– please send my best greeting for her”. Also, the books that absorb your full attention, Catching Fire. The book was really expensive here because for 4 series you have to pay 60 TL or almost 330.000 IDR. I really wanna read these books but in Turkish language made  me to think twice. Perhapsly, I will do after finish my C1 level of Turkish. Aamiin.

We also visited Saltanat Kapi and Ozmangazi Grave in the top of mountain. That was amuzingly awesome. Many local tourist were mushrooming at this place especially at weekend. Indeed, Merve told me that the best time to visit many places in Turkey is in autumn because the weather is relatively good instead of visiting them at winter or summer. If you come here, you will meet old castle which is the obedient security, with funny clothes :D, standing at the gates along the times—such a hard job. The grave of Ozmangazi and Orhangazi were exist here. From the top of castle we could see TIME TOWER of Bursa called “Saat Kulesi” and serously from the top you will see the city of Bursa freely. The place where I should spend my 3 years studying ahead here. All the building and apartment is blocked with Uludag mountain, pretty awesome.

My great day was finished with a pan of yummy Turkish meal called Kumpir. It’s Merve’s favorite food because you can easily choosed toping in the top of melted potatoes and cheeses. Kumpir is mashed potatoes which is added with 6-8 topping at once—mushrooms, cheeses, olive, sweet corn, sousages, fresh salad, and others. For this delicious meal, you have to pay 7-9n TL depended on the size (small, medium, or large potatoes).

There, in the top of castle, I wish the best for my future, my family and my friends~ Hadi Gorusurus, have a nice day friend…

Haekel, Yildirim, Bursa, Turkey 2 December 2012 21.05

Fokuslah pada kebaikan yang bisa dilakukan
Jika kebaikan itu adalah sabar, maka fokus dan lakukanlah
Jika kebaikan itu adalah syukur, maka fokus dan lakukanlah
Jika kebaikan itu adalah menata hati, maka fokus dan lakukanlah
Jika kebaikan itu adalah mengikhlaskan, maka fokus dan lakukanlah

Fokus dan lakukanlah, hingga kau tak mampu lagi mengingat berapa banyak tabungan kebaikanmu di sisi-Nya.
Hingga kau tak lagi menyadari detik-detikmu ternyata habis karena kebaikan.

—  Kalila Izzatunnisa

Izmir is obviously home to Roman and Byzantine civilizations following the death of Alexander the Great and played a significant part in the spread of Christianity. From many documents, Izmir became a province of the Ottoman Empire before being occupied at the end of First World War from the 15th century. These attractive points of Izmir lead me to visit Izmir and discover cultural herritage spread along the area. The most prominent place for historical view is Ephesus located in Selcuk District. The district is sited on Aydin Highway, south from Izmir. Based on my journey, to reach Ephesus, we have to take train from Basmane Gar (Train Station located at the center of city), and get a ticket to Selcuk by defraying 5,5 Turkish Lira (and particularly for student takes a special price 4,75) for one way. It takes 45 minutes to approach the place.


Along the way to Selcuk district, there are immense great view, changing from bustling city into quiet villages, enourmos of green fields and couple hills, that is able to spot behind the leaf window of train. After arrived on Selcuk Train Station, which is nicely old, your eyes will be delighted by various ancient stone starting from the lips of the Selcuk Train station.

Ephesus cultural summit includes the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; House of the Virgin Mary, which is sacred for Christians; the Ancient City of Ephesus, the most splendid ancient city in Turkey; the tomb and church of St. John who was one of Jesus Christ’s disciples; Seven Sleepers Cave; Isa Bey Mosque; Selcuk Castle;aqueduct; and civil architecture examples in Sirince Village.


It was the last week of February,  and fortunately—even in other cities in Turkey the weather still cold around 5-10 degree, that day the weather was pretty nice. The sun fabulously shimmered at 18 degree Celcius. Indeed, it;s more than enough to take awesome pictures instead of taking a picture in summer when the sun almost 40 degrees. The wind softly breezed, many tourists from couple Asian countries crammed the place.  Sometimes I got a chance to say “hello” and took a picture together with some Korean, Japanese people. For me, that day was quiet perfect.

The ancient city of Ephesus, called the center of civilizations, was the capital of the Asian State of the Roman Empire, and was once the most populated city in Anatolia. Ephesus witnessed many historic events including the effort of St. Paul to spread Christianity, visit by the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and the Roman Emperor Mark Anthony and became a place for Virgin Mary and St. John’s last days.  I heard from the catalogues, Ephesus is the most notable cultural heritage site attracting not less than 1,5 million tourists a year.

From the Selcuk Train Station to Ephesus, sightseer should walk about 20 minutes to reach the Ephesus Cultural Herritage’s Gate. International  tourists or visitors whom have no “Museum Card” should cash 25 Turkish Lira for single entry. However, for student and native with Museum Card, it’s gratis. Student and native could register the “Muze Kart” by showing their identity (student card or resident permit) and within 5 minutes the card is ready to use—of course by investing 15 TL and 30 TL respectively, they could entry various government museum in all over Turkish’s area.

Here we go, let’s explore every single mile of Ephesus, especiallt the bold points Grand Theatre and Celcus Library

Grand Theatre

I just grasped mini-guide for exploring Ephesus but there was no complete information about the historical aged. Group of European tourists came and I intendedly heard from their tour guide some notes. Based on english explanation of the tour guide(as I know, tour guide from another groups was delivering their speech in Japanese or Korean Language, and I immediately halted to overhear

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) , the theatre located on the southern skirts of Mount Panayir, was the first constructed in the Hellenistic Age. The ruins that are visible today belong to the first and the second century A.D. It’s underwent re-building in the Time of Emperor Trajan. With the capacity of 24.000 people, it’s the greatest theatre of the ancient world.

Library of Celcus

The building was constructed as a monumental tombin 177 AD by Consul Gaius Julius Aquila in the name of his father Celcus, General Governor of Asia. The library was the third largest in the world in the Classical Period after the Alexandria Library in Egypt and the Pergamon Library in Anatolia It undertook the mission of both library and tomb monument. The roll of paper were stored on the walss inside the building. In front of building, there are 4 female statues displaying Celcus characteristic of wisdom, virtue, intelligence and knowledge.. The compelling one, when I took a look, two of four female statues was headless. The carved pillar was choped particularly and I could not barrier myself not to take photos from all sides of the building. It’s amazingly awesome.

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And oh, through the stones I saw weird words for the ancient aged, it’s seemly like mixed language. You can easily found “Roman Empire”, the “Empire of the Romans” (Latin: Imperium Romanum, Imperium Romanorum; Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn, Ἀρχὴ τῶν Ῥωμαίων Archē tōn Rhōmaiōn), “Romania” (Latin: Romania; Greek: Ῥωμανία Rhōmania),the “Roman Republic” (Latin: Res Publica Romana; Greek: Πολιτεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων Politeia tōn Rhōmaiōn), Graikia (Greek: Γραικία), and also as Rhōmais (Greek: Ῥωμαΐς). Finally, I dragged me to become desperate because of this complex word.

The time flied fast. Spending couple hours here just make you realized that Islam ever steadly settled in the Europe centuries ago, winning the heart of people by its charming ideas. Now, the footprints of the historical spots should give a lesson about the influence of Islam. No one care but you, people who believe that the period of Islam will return by the hand of us—with knowledge, peacefullness, and the idea that we hold. Islam rahmatan lil ‘alamiin. I step my foot shatteredly, even drowsy my heart is full of happiness. The sun chance into orange, the moon will come, the wind (again) smoothly breeze. I grumbled my brain with this nice poem: a gentle breeze:

A gentle breeze began to flow, creating music to one’s ears, whence it came no one knows, yet it takes away all our fears. Possessing such power and might, as it steadily warms the cool air, leaves dancing everywhere in sight, magical essence to those who dare.

A single gift of beauty to behold, the soft wind felt upon your face, yet, in it’s fury it can be so bold, not every moment is satin and lace. It carries the fragrance of flowers, blending aroma of Spring so rare,
hard to believe in Winter it devours, but for now, it’s splendor we share.

The mystical wind is like life itself, for it contains both good and bad, never found sitting idle on a shelf, it can make one happy or forever sad (S.E. Stone)

Bursa, 2 March 2013


Good morning all

References (Ephesus catalogue, SE Stone poem compilations)

Fatimah Azzahra



Cumalıkızık is a village located 10 kilometers east of Bursa, at the foot of Mount Uludağ. Its history goes back to the Ottoman Empire’s foundation period. The village is now included within the border of the Yıldırım district as a neighbourhood. Cumalıkızık was founded as a vakıf village. The historical texture of the village has been well protected and the civilian countryside architectural structures of the early Ottoman period are still intact. Because of this, Cumalıkızık has become a popular but still unspoiled center for tourists.

A group of similar villages which are placed close together between the foot of mount Uludağ and the valleys have been called kızık in Turkish. The name stands for one of the twenty-four clans of the Oghuz Turks and the people from the villages also called kızık. Similar villages, less well preserved, are Değirmenlikızık, Derekızık, and Hamamlıkızık. Hamamlıkızık was the village of the local baths (hamamli), and Cumalıkızık was named because people gathered there on Friday (Cuma, in Turkish)for worship.

The Cumalıkızık ethnography museum in the village’s square displays historical objects from the village. Every June there is a raspberry festival. The famous Cumalıkızık houses are made out of wood, adobe, rubblestones. Most of them are triplex houses. The windows upstairs are generally latticed and with a bay window. The handles and knockers on the main entry doors are made of wrought iron. Cobblestone streets are very narrow with no sidewalks, but a typical medieval gutter in the center for rain and waste water. A mosque, the fountain of ‘Zekiye Hatun’ next to the mosque and a bath with one dome are original from the Ottoman Empire. Also there is a ruin of a church built by Byzantines.

Cumalıkızık holds 270 historical houses. Some of these houses are in process of restoration and maintenance, and 180 of them are still being used as dwellings.

In 1969, the remains of a Byzantine church were unearthed southeast of the village in the foothills of Mt. Uludağ. Some architectural works are on display in the Archeological Museum of Bursa. Movies and television programs with historical settings have often been recorded in Cumalıkızık.